Just about a month ago, I held a Word of The Year Workshop. As many of you know, instead of New Year’s resolutions, I encourage people to choose one word to focus on for the whole year – a Word of The Year. I had a group of wonderful, brave, soul-centered women who were willing to listen to themselves and take some risks in not only sharing themselves with one another but by committing to a word that, to a person, scared them at least a little bit.
Your word of the year should be exciting and energizing and yes, a little scary as well. It should signify change in some way. You don’t need to have all the answers surrounding your word- in fact, you really shouldn’t. How can the Universe provide miracles if you have it all figured out?
However, what hasn’t happened this year, you may have noticed if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, is that I haven’t announced my word of the year. Usually, it’s my first post in January. I’ve never waited this long. And here’s the reason why:
My Word of the Year scares the living hell out of me.
I’ve tried giving it back, but it just keeps cropping up over and over again like a baby chick who has imprinted on me as its mother. A little chick who feels to me like at any moment it will rip me apart limb from limb when I’m not looking.
What is this terrible word you may be wondering? The one that has kept me up nights, the one I almost can’t write here?
Oh, no right, that’s not me. Sorry.
My word of the year is: BELIEVE
Here’s the funny thing. I believe in SO much. I believe in my clients, and my friends and my family and anyone who has the courage to share their dreams with me. With every ounce of my being, I truly believe in their dreams and goals and their creativity.
And yet, I have a really hard time believing in myself and my dreams. Which is hard to admit because A) What kind of coach admits she has trouble believing in herself? And 2) now that I’ve put it out there for all of you to read, I kind of have to commit to doing things differently.
The challenge for me is remembering that my goal is not to embody my word of the year perfectly. I don’t need to believe in myself in every moment of every day. More importantly, I don’t have to wait to believe “perfectly” before I move forward. Instead, I’m just going to be open to learning from my word, to try new things and have faith in the process. I’m working on those things – but it’s really hard, as you all well know, when it feels like so much is at stake.
So when things feel huge and panicky and in danger of suffocating me, I try to look at whatever it is from another perspective. And in this situation, the scholarly approach had a profound impact on my relationship with the word, “Believe.”
If you look up “Believe” you’ll find that it comes from an Old English word that literally translates into “Hold dear, love.” Wow. Huh. Hold dear, love seems like a much more gentle way to embrace it doesn’t it? That phrase isn’t filled with doubt or anxiety, fear or perfectionism. It’s filled with kind gentleness, affection, peace – things we can all do with having a bit more of. Not surprising, when I orient myself around that understanding of “Believe,” it seems much more doable.
I hope you’ve chosen a Word of the Year – and if you haven’t, it’s not too late. I love this process for all the ways it enriches my life and surprises me and helps me grow. I hope you’ll choose to try it. If you’ve already chosen your word, leave it in the comments below. By naming it publically, you’ll strengthen your resolve to live into the word this year, in whatever form that may be.